Guests of Honor

Allen Steele (Principal Speaker)

Allen M. Steele was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a prolific author of novels, short stories, and essays. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. Before he established himself as a science fiction author, he spent several years working as a journalist.

Steele began publishing short stories in 1988. Some of his early novels, such as "Orbital Decay" and "Lunar Descent" were about blue-collar workers working on future construction projects in space. Since 1992, he has focused more on stand-alone projects and short stories, although he has written several novels about interstellar exploration centered on the moon "Coyote".

He is a three-time Hugo award winner: first in 1996, for his novella "The Death of Captain Future", then in 1998 for his story "...Where Angels Fear to Tread," and again for best novella in 2011 for "The Emperor of Mars."

Steele serves on the Board of Advisors for both the Space Frontier Foundation and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and he is a former member of the SFWA Board of Directors. In April, 2001, he testified before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of the U.S. House of Representatives, in hearings regarding space exploration in the 21st century.

He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife Linda and their dogs.

Allen Steele photograph by Geoffrey A. Landis. CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Charles Vess (Artist Guest of Honor)

Charles Vess award-winning work has graced the covers and interior pages of many publications from Marvel (Spider-Man) and DC (Books of Magic, Sandman). His recent work is found more in book illustration, such as "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" (Bloomsbury), "Medicine Road" (Tachyon) and "Peter Pan" (Starscape).

Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' "Stardust", an illustrated novel with 175 paintings, was adapted into an acclaimed film in 2007. The impressive cast includes Michelle Pfieffer, Robert DeNiro, and Claire Danes.

Charles' awards include the Ink Pot, the Mythopoeic, a Gold and two Silver medals in the Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual, two Chesleys, Locus (Best Artist), two Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and three World Fantasy Awards (2 for Best Artist).

His art has been featured in many gallery and museum exhibitions across the nation, including two exhibitions in New York City: "Modern Fairy Tales" with Michael Kaluta at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, and Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art" at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators as well as internationally in France (Paris), Spain, Portugal and Italy.

His most recent publications include two New York Times bestselling picture books penned by Neil Gaiman, "Blueberry Girl" and “Instructions” as well as "Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess" a 200-page retrospective of his art published by Dark Horse Books.
‘The Cats of Tanglewood Forest’ (Little Brown & Co.) a middle grade novel written by Charles de Lint featuring 76 paintings by Charles was released in the Spring of 2013 to much critical acclaim. A follow up, ‘Seven Wild Sisters’ will be released early next year.

For visual treats and updates, visit his website: or Facebook.

Charles Vess photograph provided by guest.

Robert Madle (Fan Guest of Honor)

Robert "Bob" Madle was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the first chairman of the First Fandom group. He was an attendee of the first Worldcon, and a member of the committee for Philcon I. He was publisher of the "Fantascience Digest", and other publications have included the "Fantasy-Fiction Telegram" and "Fanzine Review". He was winner of the First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1990 and the Big Heart Award in 1974.

The Heather Dale Band with S.J. Tucker (Musical Guests of Honor)

Born and based in Toronto, Heather Dale is a Canadian Celtic recording artist and has released over 20 albums and songbooks. Her music is a mix of traditional and modern, and is influenced by Celtic folk, folk-rock, New Age, and world music. She began her career performing at the Society for Creative Anachronism events, and was elevated to the Order of the Laurel, the Society's highest award for achievement on the arts, in 2001. Along with Ben Deschamps, she regularly tours across Canada, the United States, and Europe. In addition to vocals, she plays many instruments including piano, bodhran drum, mountain dulcimer, bowed psaltery, harp, and tin whistles. She is an outspoken advocate of independent musicians, and undertakes all of her touring and recording through Amphisbaena Music, an indie record label she founded in 1998. Her recording The Hidden Path was nominated for the 2007 Prix Aurora Award. She and Ben Deschamps won the 2009 Pegasus Award for Best Performer. In 2005, Heather received a double Pegasus nomination for her songwriting, and she won the 2010 Pegasus for Best Writer/Composer.

S.J Tucker (also known as Sooj or Skinny White Chick) is an Arkansas-born singer and songwriter. Her music was original inspired by alternative folk rock, but over time has incorporated elements of electronica, filk, spoken word, and world music. She formed her first band, Skinny White Chick, in 1999, and since that time has recorded, appeared, and performed with numerous writers, musicians, activists, and bands, including several book/CD crossovers with Catherynne M. Valente. Tucker won the Best Performer Pegasus Award in 2010, and the Pegasus Award for Best Writer/Composer in 2011.

Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps photograph provided by guest.